An old budget favourite
1/2 Moo 4 Mae Nam Beach, Ko Samui (Driving west on the ring road, about 1km past the Mae Nam traffic lights, a sign points towards the road to Shangrilah) T: (077) 425 189 F: (077) 247 153
Ko Samui is so big, we've split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Samui as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don't know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Samui's different areas.
Not to be confused with the luxury Asian hotel chain of a very similar name, a stay at Shangrilah is like taking a step back to the early days of tourism on Samui. It closed down for a time, saddening its loyal band of German and Scandinavian regulars, but has since re-opened.
Shangrilah offers a variety of rooms on a beautiful part of the beach from where it's possible to see both sunset and sunrise – this is a beautiful and clean stretch of beach and compared to other beaches on Ko Samui the sea is quite deep here. The cheapest bungalows get the job done with wood floors, basic beds, fans, cold water bathrooms, small verandas and a couple of windows to let the ocean breeze flow through; prices jump a little higher for the larger rooms.
Basic hot-water air-con bungalows offer good value for money. If you travel in packs, go for the air-con family cottage with TV, fridge, hot water bath and a lounge. Toilets are Western and there's a shower, although as mentioned, for the cheaper ones, it's only cold water. Rooms are cleaned three times a week, so long as you leave your key at reception. The grounds are well kept and watered frequently, leaving the inner core green and lush.
The resort is set back from the ring road, so there's no traffic disturbance, and the only sounds you hear for the most part are the mynah birds. Many of the repeat customers have been coming here for years, and there's a sense of community as these folks tend to see the same old faces each time. With that said, new faces are always welcome.
Shangrilah offers free WiFi with a signal strong enough to reach the hammocks tied between the palms – otherwise the beach is sans furniture. Staff are friendly but only a few speak a bit of English. The restaurant is rather average, lacking atmosphere with certain items being pricey and others moderate, and portions could be bigger. Several bars and restaurants plus Mae Nam's Thursday night walking street are however an easy stroll away. Parking is plentiful, and there's a massage sala. Shangrilah is often booked solid so reservations are a very good idea.
By Romi Grossberg
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.